Bringing down Pritchard House
By Chad Ingram
Minden Hills council will demolish the Pritchard House, along with another house the township owns at 2 Prince St.
The township is already set to demolish the Gelert hall and a works shed on the hall property and during a Nov. 12 committee-of-the-whole meeting, property and environmental operations manager Ivan Ingram brought forward a report suggesting knocking down the Pritchard House and the house at 2 Prince St., located next door.
“The Pritchard House has a severe mold issue, open fibre asbestos on the boiler and heating pipes and does not meet accessibility standards,” Ingram’s report read. “In 2009. a quote of approximately $185,000 was received for the rehabilitation of Pritchard House and council decided at that time to close the building to public use.”
The house, once home to the Pritchard family, was last used by local weavers and spinners.
Council recently voted to spend about $15,000 removing asbestos from the Pritchard House and Gelert hall, which must completed before the buildings can be taken down.
The Gelert hall has also been closed to the public for nearly four years due to the building’s condition.
The small, white house at 2 Prince St. was once operated by the township as a rental property, but has been vacant since 2012 due to mold issues. There is also a shed on that property.
There was $35,000 in the 2015 budget for the demolition of the Gelert hall and Ingram’s report indicated that all the buildings could be demolished for this amount.
While Ingram looked at the possibility of having the work done in-house, that was not feasible and contractors would be hired for demolition work.
Any additional remediation work for the Pritchard House and Prince Street properties would need to be included in the 2016 budget.
“I was in favour of trying to restore it,” Councillor Pam Sayne said of the Pritchard House. “We really need a public building in our downtown.”
Ingram stressed that would require an extensive and expensive renovation.
Ingram said some materials, such as stone, could be salvaged from the house for future use.
Council granted pre-budget approval for the demolition of the buildings.